March 09, 2012

Apple/Blackberry Hand Pies

I've been making snacks for my bf's lunches lately. Last week was Zucchini Bread. But this week it was running out and I knew I had to bake something. I had a bag of Granny Smith apples around here that needed to be used up. I did plan on making Apple Jam but Ive been kind of busy lately so they have been sitting there. Now I know he loves apple pie and I know he loves blackberries. I picked alot of blackberries last year with my friend. This is the last bag of frozen tho so I'm using them sparingly. This yr. I hope to pick much much more. I'm just going to have to find some new patches.

But in the process of thinking of something different to bake I remembered seeing a recipe long ago for Hand pies. They are sort of like those Hostess pies you could buy years ago, individual little pies. Sort of like Pop tarts but of course much better. And so I decided to create my own. I didn't want to use plain old pie pastry even tho many recipes called for that. I just felt it might be a bit too fragile. And I don't much like pie pastry either. I also wanted the pastry to be a little sweeter. So I decided to use Pate' Sucree. Its lightly sweetened and much sturdier due to eggs binding it. Turns out it worked perfectly.

I didn't have a round cutter to make lg. pies. I was going to do square instead. And then I remembered a lg. heart cutter I had so I used that. Honestly while they are cute, it was a bit tedious so I think next time Ill just cut squares. After all these were just for his lunch. However a sweet thing happened due to them being heart shaped so you might want to do this. When I packed his lunch, I put two pies in since they are not real big and he works outside doing construction. I figured he would be hungry. And I stacked them at first on the plastic wrap, then thought, no I better not. He takes it in a paper bag and it might get crushed. So I laid them next to each other in a hurry and a bit of serendipity happened. The two heart halves made a whole heart which I decided to wrap just like that. I thought to myself.....aww how sweet.

And when he came home he told me about the heart, He thought it was so cute too. Who would have thought he would even notice? BTW he said the pies were really good. So here's my recipe and I'll be making these again. Also I just realized today that unless you take turns flipping which side of the heart over the filling, you wont get hearts. I only did a couple differently and didn't realize that. But of course I wasn't doing it originally to make hearts. But if you are then be sure to flip every other one over differently.
 Apple/blackberry Hand Pies... Makes 16

Pate Sucree
Makes one 11-to 12-inch or two 8-to 9-inch or two 14-by-4-inch crusts or about 16 hand pies (depends on the size of your cutter)

    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
    2 large egg yolks ( reserve whites to use for brushing on dough when baking)
    1/4 cup ice water

Measure flour, sugar and butter into a bowl. With pastry blender, cut butter into the flour until it looks crumbly and the size of small peas.  
 Mix egg yolks with the water and pour into the flour mixture. Toss with a fork till the dough begins to hold together. 
 Press some together to see if it holds the shape. If it doesn't, add 1 Tb. extra water at a time till it does. Take dough from bowl and make two balls, wrap with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator  to chill for 1 hr. 
 Preheat oven to 375 or 350 if using a convection oven.

2 lg. apples, peeled, cored and diced small (I used what I had Granny Smith)
2c. blackberries, mine were frozen, picked this summer :)
1/2c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tb. flour

Mix well. 

Roll half the dough out onto a floured board. (Keep the rest chilled and also chill any scraps to reroll.)  I rolled mine on floured  parchment cuz I didn't want the flavors from the board to get in the dough. (I use my butcher block daily for all kinds of things.) Roll thin but not so thin you can see thru it. I used a lg. heart shaped cookie cutter to do mine. You could use any size cutter or just cut into squares or rectangles.  
Take the leftover egg whites from the dough and mix with a bit of water. Brush on each dough piece. This helps it seal. Scoop about a Tb or two of filling depending on the size of your dough pieces. For my heart shapes I used a scant 1/4 c. measure.  
Fold dough over and bring edges together to seal. You might have to pull the dough and stretch it a bit to make it fit. That's ok. Use a fork to press the edges together and prick the top for steam holes. Brush with egg white mixture again.

Depending on the size of your pies, you could put 5-6 of them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Juices will run out a bit so the parchment helps keep them from sticking. Bake about 20min. but check as you get closer to the end time. Depending on the size you make you might need less or more time.  

 Remove from oven and put on rack to cool. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar to serve. If you like them sweeter you could make an icing to drizzle on them. 

*** I used Granny Smith apples cuz its what I had here but they were quite tart. If you want a sweeter apple taste use a sweeter kind of apple. I bet the Honey-crisps that come out in the fall would be awesome in these.

1 comment:

Alida said...

They look absolutely delicious. These are very tasty "bites". Bookmarking it! Have a good week X